News digest: Foreigners' Police open, Siberian winter coming

The vaccination of teachers to start in mid-February. Slovakia is currently second worst in the world in weekly number of Covid-19 deaths.

Illustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

This is the overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. The Today in Slovakia digests are prepared at the end of every weekday free of charge. If you want to support our work, please buy our online subscription, which will give you access to our entire content. Thank you.

Teachers awaiting vaccination

Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) said on February 5 that the first AstraZeneca vaccines, expected to arrive in Slovakia this week, will be used to vaccinate teachers who hold in-person classes.

Although some schools and kindergartens opened in Slovakia on February 8, there were no details on the vaccination of teachers. The Sme daily reported that 21,000 doses should have arrived in Slovakia on February 9. There are 80,000 teachers in Slovakia.

Minister Krajčí announced on February 9 that the vaccination of teachers will start on February 13. The Education Ministry should deliver a list of 40,000 teachers in kindergartens, the first to fourth year of primary schools and last year of secondary schools. Teachers will be vaccinated in regional towns. There will always be 12 vaccination centres on weekends. If vaccines from AstraZeneca arrive regularly, the ministry plans to launch mass vaccination centres from March 1.

Krajčí wants to vaccinate teachers. Nobody knows when, how and where Read more 

Immigration offices will deal with clients with appointment

The Foreigners' Police departments will reopen on February 15, but they will take only clients who booked their appointment online.

Those who booked their appointment from Monday, February 1 and have already booked a date from February 15 on, do not need to book again. Other clients will have to book their appointments online after the system is relaunched on February 10.

The departments will be open on Mondays between 7:45 and 15:00, on Wednesdays from 7:45 to 17:00 and on Fridays from 7:45 to 12:00 (the department in Bratislava is an exception, as it will be open on Fridays until 14:00). People entering the departments have to observe the anti-epidemic measures currently in place.

Coronavirus-related news:

  • People arriving in the UK will have to undergo two tests and 10-day isolation. They will be tested on the second and eighth day of isolation.
  • MPs will not be vaccinated against Covid-19 en mass. The vaccines will be left for endangered groups, said the spokesperson of Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina).
  • The Administration of State Material Reserves is ready to buy 2.5 million nasal antigen tests. The purchase will be conducted directly, without a tender.

Picture of the day:

Feature story for today:

Félix, a 20-year-old brown bear, is one of the best-known residents at the Bratislava Zoo. Visitors often stop to watch him, alone in an ageing cement enclosure dating back to the 1960s. One of the last enclosures from the time of the zoo’s inception, it is an obsolete relic that no longer meets zoo design or animal welfare standards, says the new director of Bratislava Zoo, Júlia Hanuliaková.

Thankfully for Félix, overhauling the enclosure is a top priority for Hanuliaková, an architect and zoo designer by profession, who took over as zoo director in December of last year.

“The welfare of animals is the top priority,” Hanuliaková told The Slovak Spectator.

Read more in a story by Jana Liptáková.

‘Unprecedented’ Bratislava zoo set for overhaul as new boss takes the reins Read more 

Weather forecast:

A Siberian winter is coming to Slovakia. The weather will start to change on Wednesday, February 10, and all Slovakia will be hit by freezing cold on Thursday, February 11. Snowfall is especially expected in the north and east. Temperatures will drop to -2 to -10 Celsius degrees. The freezing weather should remain for at least a week.

In other news:

  • Specialised Criminal Court Judge, Ružena Sabová, issued an international and European arrest warrant for Michal Suchoba, charged in the Mýtnik (Toll Collector) case.
  • The dates for spring holidays will not change, but pupils will be able to participate in spring schools, if their school decides on opening them.
  • The police concluded an investigation of former general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka in connection with the Gorilla case. They plan to study the investigation file with the accused and his lawyer in February. Afterwards they will submit the file to the relevant prosecutor's office with a proposal from the investigator, probably at the end of this month.
  • The Climate Needs You initiative has called on the parliament to declare a state of climate emergency after its petition, signed by over 127,000 people, is discussed in parliament. Parliament would also assign specific tasks to the cabinet and individual ministries, the initiative wrote in a statement.

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